Is Your Personal Information Safe?
Occasionally we have to take stock of the information that we willingly throw around online. From using the same password on multiple sites to handing over your phone number or even address to a company you know little about, the volume of data about us that companies end up holding can be worryingly detailed, and it’s up to you to protect yourself as much as possible. As we continue to integrate our lives into the online world, you need to assess just how security conscious you're being and how you can improve your personal data safety. Failing to take the necessary steps to protect yourself leaves you vulnerable to the growing number of cybercrimes, so it’s important that you look after your online privacy.
Whether it’s most common password in the world, your birthday or just the name of your cat, having a weak or easily guessed password is the first step in protecting your online data. There are a number of ways that you strengthen your password, and failing to make sure that your password is not only strong but also that you have different passwords for different accounts, will go a long way to protecting you. If you’re particularly security conscious, then consider using a password management service (just remember to make sure your password is unique). Protecting yourself from lost or stolen data needn’t be a complicated task, and it’s in your best interests.
Use companies that you trust.
This May sees some changes to the way that businesses are able to store and use the information that they have about you. The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) will affect every business in Europe that wishes to trade, and it will have far-reaching effects. For individuals, the GDPR will make it easier for you to see exactly what data companies have about you, and will also make changes to the way that they inform you of how they intend to use that data. Many companies are going to have to hire or use the service of a Data Protection Officer, whose sole job it will be to monitor the use of data, train staff in cybersecurity and ensure that the customer has all of the protection they need.
If you’re serious about your online security, then you might want to consider implementing two-factor verification security on your online accounts. From your Facebook page to your bank account, using two-factor verification means that hackers will need more than a password to access your information. By using both password security and a numeric code that is sent to your phone via text, you improve your chances of maintaining a safer online presence. Although some people feel that this is not necessary and consider it time-consuming, if you want to keep your accounts and private information safe, then integrating two-factor authentication is the most efficient way to protect yourself.
As we continue to use the internet for a growing number of services, keeping up to date on the latest security processes is an easy, low-cost way to ensure that your data is safe. Plus, with companies having more accountability when it comes to your private information, you can protect yourself by simply being aware of your rights.
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